Victorians have been told some restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus could ease if people keep following the rules and the number of fresh cases remains low.
But Premier Daniel Andrews has warned other measures – such as keeping cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs closed – will stick around for longer.
Victoria recorded just one fresh case of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing its total number of confirmed cases to 1329.
Andrews said the numbers show current measures have been working.
That is not an invitation to roll back all of Victoria’s coronavirus rules but there could be scope to ease some social restrictions, he said.
“There are some areas where we might be able to make changes around the way people interact with others, around some of the more social measures,” he told reporters on Monday.
“We can properly, in a cautious way, examine those in the weeks and months ahead and we can potentially make some changes.”
Those changes could include allowing more recreational and sporting activities, expanding the reasons people are allowed to leave home and lifting some limits around the number of people who can meet at once.
“I think they’re probably the lowest risk, and that’s what you want to be guided by,” the premier told ABC Melbourne.
The closure of cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs will be in place for longer, the leader noted.
He urged people to stay the course with restrictions so as not to undo the progress the state has made.
“So many people have lost their jobs, there’s been so much pain, so much hardship. Let’s not make that worth nothing by then having the very outbreak that we’ve been trying to avoid,” he said.
Modelling released by the state government on Monday showed the state could have had up to 36,000 COVID-19 deaths without social distancing.
If restrictions were lifted now and the infectious rate went up to a worst-case scenario, Victoria could have up to 8420 cases in three weeks.